Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Subban leads Predators to playoff win over Avalanche

Subban leads Predators to playoff win over Avalanche

Forward Austin Watson is once again emerging as a surprising hero for the Preds. "I mean, you don't have the year he had this year without being a pretty incredible player".

Colton Sissons sealed the outcome with an empty-netter at 18:03 as Nashville notched its 11th straight win over the Avalanche, dating back to April 2016.

The Nashville Predators won the President's Cup this year, which is awarded to the team with the most points in the league and they came into the playoffs having won 19 of their last 25 games. Colorado is 0-4 in its last four conference quarterfinals games. Between Ellis, Subban, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm, there's too much Nashville star power to ignore. Blake Comeau scored on a redirection to make it 2-1.

It's hard to call this a bigger mismatch than offense simply because of the Preds' enviable depth, but it'd be a disservice to Pekka Rinne not to call him the obvious favorite in this category.

Colorado would show that they were still in the game though and wouldn't let the raucous "Smashville" crowd deter them as Nathan MacKinnon slid a back handed shot past Pekka Rinne and suddenly the Avs were withing one, 3-2.

Then Forsberg pulled some tricks out of his bag.

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"What I really liked about it, it was a power move", Laviolette said.

"I think our starts [need to be better]".

Game 2 of the series is Saturday in Nashville.

The series features a team that won 53 games during the regular season and Colorado, which had to win its regular-season finale to squeak into the postseason ahead of St. Louis.

-The Nashville Predators took it to the Avalanche physically. The Preds did not play their best hockey in the first two games and yet they are still up 2-0 in the series.

Fans filled the arena more than 30 minutes before the puck dropped, waiting for a pregame video that included a giant curtain that dropped down over the ice for a giant videoboard. He followed Rascal Flatts who sang the anthem prior to game 1.

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Colorado scored on its first official shot.

The Predators were a bit sloppy early. The Avs carried the 1-0 lead into the second period. Through two periods, the shot-attempt battle was completely even.

In the second, Rinne got help from Matt Irwin clearing J.T. Compher's shot, and the Predators tied it on a wrist shot from Watson that squeezed over Bernier's left shoulder at 3:14.

The Predators are 6-0 in their last six meetings in Colorado. Sam Girard took a beating from the Predators' forecheckers like we haven't seen all year, and it will be interesting to see how the undersized defenseman holds up over the entire series if that continues. The goalie spread out and stuck his right leg out, stopping the puck with his pad.

Pastrnak shattered his previous career high of four points, scoring his third goal with 1:36 left to bring two trash cans full of caps and winter hats fluttering down to the ice. It was his first career playoff goal.

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